GLEN RIDGE, NJ--As a new season draws near, the Glen Ridge High field hockey team has outstanding numbers on its roster.
The Ridgers will open the season on Oct. 2, with a home game at George Washington Park, against Kent Place, beginning at 4 p.m. On Oct. 7, the team visits Montclair Kimberley, also at 4.
Glen Ridge will have a new coach this fall, as Christine Villaruz succeeds Christina Fabiano, who held the job the past two seasons. Victoria Ramirez, who was on Fabiano's staff in 2018 and 2019, will remain on the staff in 2020.
Read more about Villaruz here.
The Ridgers have four senior captains this fall, with Cooper Palm, Emma Foster, Cece Keavey and Grace O’Keefe leading the way. The team has enjoyed success the past few seasons, with records of .500, or better, for the past seven seasons.
This year, Villaruz knows the team will need to build a new offense, as graduation hit the Ridgers hard last spring. But Glen Ridge has a lot of young players who are hoping to see varsity time this fall.
On the soccer field, the Glen Ridge boys are looking to defend the program's first-ever Group 1 championship from 2019.
Glen Ridge also has a new head coach, as Brian Ianni succeeds Ausitn Alvarado.
While Ianni is new to the program, he's a familiar face in town. For many years, he was the assistant girls soccer coach at GR.
"Things are going real well," said Ianni, at the team's practice on Sept. 16. "The kds are excited and we're looking forward to starting the season."
Read more about the new coach, here.
Glen Ridge opens on Oct. 1, when it hosts Bloomfield, at Carteret Park, starting at 4 p.m. The Ridgers then play a night game, at Belleville, on Oct. 7, beginning at 7 p.m.
Ianni should be naming team captains in about a week.
"We have a lot of seniors this year," said Ianni. "The kids are looking forward to a good season. Winning a state title last year was really special to them."
There probably won't be a Group championship this season to defend, but there should be plenty of exciting games, including the state sectional tournament.
"Right now, we're just looking to our season opener," said Ianni, whose team will scrimmage Newark Academy, on Sept. 24, in Livingston. "The kids are glad to be back on the field."